poverty

Education
6:03 am
Sun June 15, 2014

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner

Chronic stress can cause deficiencies in the pre-frontal cortex, which is essential for learning.
John M Flickr

Our public media colleagues over at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, have a fascinating two-part report on the efforts of schools in the Los Angeles area to address the effects of "toxic stress" on student learning.

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Never-Ending Cycle
12:34 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough'

Victoria Houser of Painted Post, N.Y., is raising her son, Brayden, on her own. She says she feels stuck in a never-ending cycle, constantly worried that one financial emergency will send everything tumbling down.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:27 pm

There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.

And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?

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Food Insecurity
9:17 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Food Pantries On The Rise To Help 'Starving Students'

The University District Food Bank has seen more students in recent years. Rising cost of tuition and living expenses have made it hard for students to buy food.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The expression “starving students” is not just a cliché. It’s real.

Researchers call this situation “food insecurity,” and it’s a concern that affects schools across the country, including many in the Pacific Northwest. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that 59 percent of students at Western Oregon University were going hungry.

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Steinbeck's Classic
7:24 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'Grapes Of Wrath' Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless

Dust Bowl farmer drives a tractor with his son near Cland, N.M. (1938). Steinbeck writes: "The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects ... monsters raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country ... through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines."
Dorothea Lange Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:42 pm

Much has been said and written about the Dust Bowl, but if you want to get a visceral feel for how it all began and the way it affected the people who experienced it, you need go no further than the opening pages of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:

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Poverty
8:45 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Juggling Work And Motherhood On A Shoestring Budget

Katrina Gilbert, a single mother raising Brooklynn, Trent and Lydia, says she got involved with an HBO documentary to inspire others.
Barbara Kinney/Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:06 pm

There are more than 4 million American families living under the poverty line today that are led by a single mother. Katrina Gilbert is one of those moms.

Gilbert is a certified nursing assistant in Tennessee. To support her three children, she sometimes works seven days a week at a nursing home. But at $10 an hour, her paycheck doesn't go very far.

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Combatting Hunger
12:38 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

'Breakfast After The Bell' Program Ensures Morning Meal For All Students

From Highline Public Schools' Facebook page

When you were a kid, your mom probably insisted you eat breakfast before school.

Studies show she was right; students who eat breakfast do better academically. Still, many kids go without – especially those living in poverty.

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Making Ends Meet
12:26 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Social Supermarkets A 'Win-Win-Win' For Europe's Poor

A customer scans the shelves at Community Shop, the U.K.'s first "social supermarket." The discount grocery stores are growing in popularity across Europe and are open exclusively to those in need.
Courtesy of Community Shop

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 2:57 pm

Somewhere between a food pantry and a traditional grocery store lies an opportunity to help feed those in need.

Enter "social supermarkets," a European model that offers discounted food exclusively to those in poverty. The stores have grown in popularity across the continent, and this week, the U.K. opened its first. Dubbed Community Shop, the store is located in an impoverished former mining town in South Yorkshire.

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Cash Assistance
8:31 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Washington Welfare Rolls Hit Record Low

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:09 pm

The number of families on cash assistance in Washington has hit an all-time low. This follows a spike in welfare enrollment less than three years ago.

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Socioeconomics
1:10 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

How Many Americans Live In Poverty?

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:11 pm

As we reported earlier this year, there are some big problems with the way poverty is measured in this country.

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Author Interview
3:32 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

40 Years To Combat Hunger

Howard G. Buffet's book "40 Chances."

Ross Reynolds talks with Howard G. Buffet, son of financier Warren Buffet, who has recently published a book titled "40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World," which is about his quest to help those who lack food security all over the world under a tough, self-imposed deadline: 40 years.

Food Stamps
2:01 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Reductions To SNAP Puts Pressure On Food Banks

Tukwila Pantry Executive Director Joe Tice stocks the tables with canned goods in 2011.
Flickr Photo/USDAgov

Steve Scher talks with Jeannie Falls, executive director of Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, about how SNAP reductions will affect food bank operations.

Government Assistance
10:27 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Food Stamp Benefits Shrink As Congress Debates Further Cuts

Cuts to food stamp benefits could lead to more reliance on food banks like the University District Food Bank in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In Washington state, food stamp recipients are being notified that their benefits will be reduced in November. Federal stimulus funding has provided a boost to benefits since 2009, but that funding just expired.

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4:12 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hunger In The Valley Of Plenty

Lead in text: 
Sometimes, the people picking our food can't access healthy food, or enough, for themselves. From KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting comes this piece on poverty.
Part 1 of 4 in "Hunger in the Valley of Plenty," a series by KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting. Listen to the radio series on The California Report Thursday and Friday and watch the full special Friday on KQED 9. Full schedule. By Sasha Khokha Video: Hungry in Raisin City.
Recession Recovery
2:04 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

"Statistically Insignificant" Wage And Poverty Numbers Tell A Larger Story

A view of Smith Tower from Yesler Terrace, circa 1960.
Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

The US Census Bureau released numbers this week looking at poverty rates and wages across the US in 2012. Our local numbers reflect what’s happening around the country: the number of people living in poverty has stagnated and wages have stayed about the same.

At first glance, this may seem like good news, or even non-news. But the census numbers reveal a larger picture of what’s happening in the wake of the recession: that people in low and middle income brackets aren’t really experiencing a recovery.

Jennifer Romich is the director of the West Coast Poverty Center and an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. She told KUOW's Marcie Sillman the "statistically insignificant" numbers from the Census Bureau paint a concerning picture of many people that are unable to get ahead financially.

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Determining Poverty Line
9:16 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew is a home health aide supporting herself and her 17-year-old son.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:02 am

The College Kid

Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.

According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.

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